The USTA rating system and self-rated players

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by aidenous, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. Ace

    Ace Semi-Pro

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    ...ok, but if that team gets their butts kicked playing other 3.0's at sectionals, you are not at the "high end" of 3.0.
    if they compete well at sectionals, you may be a "high" 3.0.....
    ...or you may just be "high". :)

    But looks like they did well at districts..... maybe you ain't high after all...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2007
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  2. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    If your matches are close, but you're still winning in excess of 70% of the time, then you're not at that level. I'm talking over many matches here, say 8-15. Fluke wins that could have gone either way should get you a winning percentage around 40-60, MAYBE. Not 30, not 70. If you always push someone to tiebreaks, but never win, guess what - you're not at their level. I've been on both sides of that equation, and on the side that always wins, guys who push me but can't close don't worry me at all.

    As far as "potential sandbagging," not only do I have anecdotal evidence from both myself and others, there's statistical evidence as well. From this thread:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=134649

    So if there's no sandbagging effect, how is it that the rating that used to represent the middle of the bell curve now represents the top 25% of tennis players? How is it that teams that dominate regular seasons, and even playoff matches, somehow go down with 6-1 and 6-0 sets to district regulars across all five lines, across multiple team meets?

    How is it that what used to be considered "good club player" (ie 4.5), is now in the top 5% of tennis players. If you've got 100 people at your club, that's the FIVE best guys there - except those 5 dudes probably aren't good enough to play 4.5 USTA, because the tennis playing population at large is without a doubt at a lower level at each level compared to alleged USTA ratings.

    Most people might not care about nationals, but those who do really are ruining it for everyone. People who are starting out in the game have to hang around for years before they get any positive feedback in the form of wins at 2.5 or 3.0. What motivation is there for them to stick around at that point? How long will they have to play, and how much better will they have to get, to play at the top of the 3.5 range? The answer, nowadays, is pretty much a lifetime. Didn't used to be that way.

    In fact, there's such a disparity between USTA bizarro world and the regular tennis world, that when I'm talking to people and they want to talk levels - nothing else matters other than whether or not they've played USTA. I don't care what you think you are, or what you think your buddies are, because in truth most people who think they're pretty good will go down, badly, to somebody on a 3.0 or 3.5 team built for nonlocal competition.
     
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  3. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Exactly, if the wins are close, you are at the correct level, and shouldn't move up.
     
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  4. AP328

    AP328 Rookie

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    I disagree. Condensing the ratings to four levels would only make the problem worse. I have seen it in recreational softball and volleyball.
     
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  5. cosmo23

    cosmo23 Guest

    dq'd

    I think it is ridiculous that there is no appeal process with self rated dq's. My team actually went to the head of the NTRP, Gail Marx and asked her to review our dq, because beating a computer rated 4.0, 7-5, 6-3 should not give you a strike.

    She emailed us back and basically said that our singles player should never have even played 4.0. Yet, ironically, this is what the computer gave her. Our singles player is a division 3, non-scholarship player, at a small college in Wisconsin that isn't even big enought to have dorms. Gail continued to berate us and tell us that an NCAA college player shouldn't be playing 4.0.

    And she wonders why we think a mistake has been made. Our player plays NAIA, Division 111, not NCAA. She obviously didn't look at her record in college to see that she was playing other d3 schools that are not even in the UW system.

    We now just laugh at the situation, and will probably pull out of the USTA, because no one thinks that a mistake has been made.

    Still very confuses.
     
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  6. AP328

    AP328 Rookie

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    So Ace, as I understand it... when a team does go to sectionals, wins and then goes to nationals, those players should be moved up right?

    There is a team we are scheduled to play next week. One of their players went 4-1 last year in sectionals (won 6-2,6-2; 6-4,6-2; two 3rd set tiebreaks). He lost two of three at nationals (6-3,7-5; 6-2,6-4). I don't understand how he didn't get moved up!?!?

    Thoughts?

    (They also have three self-rated players, added four weeks into the season who have gone 9-2 combined...rarely close)
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I added bold to your post.

    I don't think I understand your complaint. I think I recall that when I self-rated, the computer asked me what level I wanted. Sure, if I had a certain background the computer would deny me the requested rating. But I always assumed the responsibility not to self-rate (and play) too low was entirely mine.

    Second, your player is the best judge of whether she is a 4.0. Why should this USTA official have to scour the player's record, and how meaningful could this review be, anyway? Adult league is for amateurs, so your player could be a middling college player but still destroy the 40-somethings encountered at 4.0.

    And, erm . . . what were the other two strikes?

    No, I don't think there should be an appeal. That's just yet another way people would try to game the system. It sounds like your player self-rated too low. Gotta just suck it up, methinks.

    As for you, Ace . . .

    :stamps foot:

    I am *TOO* at the high end of 3.0! I will cry my eyes out if anyone suggests otherwise. :)
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think so. Our districts were a different weekend than yours.

    In a different state! :)
     
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  9. aidenous

    aidenous Semi-Pro

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    I have seen some players go undefeated the entire season and not get bumped up. I know of two that were 12-0 and 10-0 and are back for another season. The previous year one of my guys was 7-6 and got bumped so wins & losses doesn't appear to be in the equation and needs to be.
     
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  10. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    No, I know...she played VA districts the weekend after your districts. Her 'other' team won their district and is headed to sectionals, and her VA team (my team) is not. :(

    ;) Think....she plays on a bazillion teams in four different counties, if that helps!
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ah, OK. Initials "LS?"

    If so, I don't know her well but I like her. She was the 2.5 level coordinator when I was a hopelessly green 2.5 captain.

    She was nice to me, which couldn't have been easy!!
     
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  12. Ace

    Ace Semi-Pro

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    Look, I don't have all the answers....but, like I said, its a national rating. He made it all the way to nationals and was compared at the highest level.
    He lost at nationals 6-3, 7-5 and 6-2, 6-4. If you assume that the guys he lost to did get bumped up, now compare his games spread to those guys. 8/13 and 6/12 (win/loss). Maybe that wasn't enough to get bumped up.
    Maybe he played "up" himself and didn't do so hot.
    Only the "big usta" computer knows for sure!

    I'm not convince by ohplease's statistical evidence. Thats like saying the pro's used to be 7.0's, but now Roger Federer is a 7.0 and the other pro's are now 6.5's. So there must be sandbagging at 6.5. The scale hasn't been readjusted to the continuously higher level of players, its still 1-7 or whatever..... so individuals are re-adjusted. I don't think that implies "sandbagging".

    I have heard that when USTA first came around my area, the lowest they offered was 3.5. I know some of these people who played in that league as 3.5's. They are "low-3.0's/high-2.5's" by todays standards. Its just that was what everyone was rated because thats was all they could play. Then I heard the USTA came in and did an adjustment some years ago (all before my time) and bumped everyone down to account for the national rating. In that case, this whole section would have really messed with those statistics.
     
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  13. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    It's not like that at all. It's like teams in the world group in davis cup tanking to get dropped down to regional zone competition, and being satisfied with a zone title instead of the world title. Any analogy to the pro tour here is completely false because pros have no incentive or desire to be a big fish in a small pond. There's only one pond, for them.

    Right now, what's going on is people doing everything in their power to stay in their pond. I'm saying move people between ponds much more often. Heck, I'm even on record on this board for saying there should be no ponds. Have a national ranking system ala chess or something, with Roddick or Blake at the top.

    In fact, it wouldn't even be that hard - the USTA already has the data. One decent developer could run the numbers across everybody from this past season and you'd have your answer. If you want to then subdivide that continuum into ponds, feel free. However, I'd bet money that if you were to look at that continuum, you'd get significant, even ridiculous overlaps between people competing in post season meets and people playing regular matches 1 or even 2 levels above them in the current system.
     
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  14. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Nope..."EW"...I *think* you know her anyway, I could be wrong.

    Now you have me wondering who "LS" is! ;)
     
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  15. SB

    SB Rookie

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    Not necessarily. There are many reasons to play tennis, but if you are playing a match on a team or in a tournament, the main object of playing is to win. Some players just don't cream people. Sampras didn't usually cream people, but he kept winning. He turned it on when it counted. In NTRP, you are "penalized" for doing that. I happen to think it's a really important part of tennis. It's tougher to win 7-5 than 6-1.

    Now, the first object of the NTRP system IS to keep scores close, and that's where the discrepancy comes in. You do NOT move up unless you are just killing your opponents.

    A few years ago I was 20-5 on the season (in non-mixed events, since mixed doesn't count). 13-3 in regular league play, 1-2 in playoffs, 6-0 in tournaments. Of my 5 losses, 3 were to players who moved up to 4.5 at the end of the year, and 1 was to a team already at the top end of 4.5 (one moved to 5.0 at the end of that year).

    I figured that was a good enough record -- I will never be perfect, due to being human and occasionally having a bad day. I moved myself up to 4.5 the next year, went 7-6, and the computer moved me up. Since then, I've gone 7-5 and 8-6, which shows that I'm a consistently middle-of-the-road 4.5 player. I was before I was actually rated 4.5, too.
     
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  16. SB

    SB Rookie

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    College players run the GAMUT. I had a D2 player on my 4.5 team this summer who won seven games in three matches. Two of the matches she lost to players rated 4.0. But she wasn't allowed to play 4.0 because she's in D2 ... now at least she has a computer rating that should by all means drop her to 4.0 (if not lower), which will help her next summer. Poor thing, I felt so bad for her. She was victimized by the 40-somethings!

    Anyway, we had another D2 player on the team who is awesome, probably more of a 5.0. So it evened out.

    But my point is, you can't just look at the fact that someone plays line 1 in college, therefore is better than 4.0. I learned MY lesson ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2007
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  17. darkblue

    darkblue Semi-Pro

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    i'm really tired of all of this NTRP talk crap :-( and the system (which is
    even bigger crap).

    * the system does NOT work for all cases. (nor it's ever intended to)
    - there will always be sandbaggers
    - there will always be people who over/under rate themselves
    - there will always be "one of those days" when one player will have his/her day, and you just happen to be their opponent
    - there will always be "score/system management" - as long as there is
    a "system" to be managed, for some benefit.
     
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  18. AP328

    AP328 Rookie

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    I know...nobody has all the answers. I'm still having fun when I play, so I'm honestly not that worried about it. :D
     
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  19. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I agree. This discussion could go on and on and on and on. Im going to keep bringing up the same points and other people are going to keep bringing up their points.

    Truth is there isnt anything anyone can do about it, the league is always trying to make improvements (they change the system every year), and you might as well just play tennis and enjoy it for what it's worth.

    Especially the rants that are way out there, like dropping NTRP all together, or going to some ABCD system. That's not going to happen, get used to it.
     
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  20. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    1) Beating a computer rated player by that margin certainly could still give you a strike (if they were close to a particular level themselves, you can be in 4.5 range and still retain your 4.0 rating until the season ends)

    2) Why doesnt she just play 4.5? What does she have to lose? If she sucks she may get rated down. Plenty of other people here think it's okay to zip up and down from year to year to year, so what's the big deal?

    And the computer did not GIVE her a 4.0 rating. All it does is ask you a series of questions about yourself, and it allows you a certain minimum rating based on how you answered the questions. You are still responsible for rating yourself properly.

    Ive talked to Gail before and she's pretty reasonable, and unlike a lot of other people in the league she will admit that some aspects of the system are pretty crazy. (like the horrid appeal process)
     
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  21. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    It's not and it doesnt need to be.

    (people are going to keep saying this and others like me are going to keep arguing this point, isnt this fun? :) )

    There should be a special forum just for NTRP complaints.

    I almost think the USTA should get more involved in these forums. If there were more forward about what is going on there may be a bit less to complain about. But because they choose to be so secretive about it, it causes a lot more dismay.

    Obviously they keep it secret though because they too are afraid of the boogeyman, erm, I mean sandbaggers. Another reason I heard initially is they are afraid that captains will not allow certain players on their team if they know they have a 2.51 rating as opposed to a 3.0 rating.
     
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  22. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    They slightly changed the system this year so it gives you a "minimum allowed self-rating" based on how you answer the questions online.

    But I still think you are right, you are still responsible for rating yourself, the computer is not GIVING you a rating.

    Every year they seem to be changing the self rating system more which is encouraging.
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ah, OK. I can guess who EW is. A high-energy lady, right? Partners a lot with MR. Yeah, EW and MR play No. 1 doubles sometimes too.

    The captain of that team is the one I was thinking of.
     
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  24. volleyman

    volleyman Semi-Pro

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    Your basic argument is that a results-based rating system that ignores the final result of the match is more accurate than a results-based rating system that does. That's a pretty weak argument; you shouldn't be surprised when folks refuse to accept it.


    I agree that the likely justification for their secrecy is a desire to preserve the integrity of the system. Unfortunately, that doesn't work well in a situation where motivated people can see both the inputs and the outputs of the system. From that a person can figure out, generally, what the system is doing, and then use that knowledge to game it. And since people have done and are doing that, I would ask what the point of continued secrecy is.

    I'm glad that the USTA is continuing to tweak the NTRP system. I just wish they'd be more open about how it works, include win/loss records in the calculations, and allow for some human review of the computer's decisions. I think that would result in faster improvements in the system, which is what most people really want.
     
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  25. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I am not surprised that some choose not to accept it, but that doesnt mean they are right, it's just they cant see the logic in it.

    If you talk to any good teaching pro, or anyone running successful challenge latter they will look at it the same way. There is a diffrence between having a good match with someone your own level and whether you happened to win or lose the match.

    Each level can have a wide range of players, so it wouldnt make sense to worry about just your win-loss record. On a wider scale, you know full well that if you "win" against certain other players the fact that you won is virtually meaningless, and if you are playing someone far superior the fact that you lost is meaningless as well. That doesnt mean you necessarily did well in your match against the weaker player and it doesnt mean you did poorly against the superior player.

    How do you know how you did? By the game score of course, how else would you unless they are so far and away better that you wont even get a game (then getting to deuce might be commendable in that case).

    What happens is people dont want to accept that in their given level they will run into situations like this, but any good teaching pro will tell you that the levels are far bigger than you think. (especially a level like 3.5 which has a huge variety of diffrent incomplete player types)
    The system works fine for most players out there, except for the few that happen to sandbag the system.

    I agree there should be more of a human element to it though but that's where the league is going south. They seem to do more and more to take away the actual human element which leads me to believe the league as a whole doesnt really care that much about USTA League Tennis as they do their other programs. (the same with using it for their personal testing ground for certain alternate rule varietys like the Coman tiebreaker)

    One example is the current horrendous appeal process. In the past you probally had lazy or corrupt LC's rubber stamping appeals left and right so instead of being stricter and paying more attention to what was going on, they instituted the current automatic system which is worse than what was happening before in the first place.
     
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  26. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Well said.

    In addition, and as I've been saying all along, what sandbaggers want is the result. A very particular result. They don't give a crap about the quality of their matches. They want the result that corresponds to them WINNING. I say go ahead and try for that result, but what kind of hair brained idiocy is it to not make the result they want (ie. winning at all cost) part of the result based metrics (NOT skills) being used to police the system?

    Go ahead and win. Now get the heck out of the division. There's nothing left for you to prove there, anyway. There would be VERY FEW cases of people winning 70% of their matches who would still feel there's still something for them at that level, other than a trip to districts or better.

    Javier is endorsing a system that clearly caters to the sandbagger's every whim, that already fails to serve his main concern, which seems to be a well played match. Unless, by well-played, he means patronizing score management.

    Further, even if I allow that game differentials alone are a decent metric (and they're not), you still need to solve the Pete Sampras problem someone's already mentioned, where 6-4 might not have been very competitive at all due to one player slacking on all service return games except for the one needed break. Not to mention that 7-5 is effectively the same as 6-4, and sometimes 6-3, as 6-1 is effectively the same as 6-2, and also sometimes 6-3. The scoring system itself fails to capture the quality of a match. Plus, does the USTA track the most important part of the score, in the form of the third set or 10 point tiebreak? No - it's always stored as 1-0. So much for the granularity argument.

    Sure, that might be the best thing we've got, but so what? We all ran around barefoot and living in caves at one time, too. Did we make do with that? No. Nor should we here.

    Here's an even better idea. Forget winning percentage. Skip to a a result metric that individuals can't game. Base it on the entire population of a particular level. Make cuts on the participation bell curve. Bump the top and bottom 25% of any given level, no matter their winning percentage. Could be lower bound winning percentage of 30/upper bound of 70 one year, could be 20/90 another, could be 45/60 another. In all cases, people angling to work the system to be the big fish in their division would have absolutely no idea where they would stand, especially if they're trying to win this year, or tanking for next - plus the players being bumped up and out or back down next year. In that environment, you have no choice but to play your best, this and every year.

    The USTA could implement that right now with what they've got. Players already have ratings out to the hundredths. Sort in excel, multiply total players by .25, bump up and down. Easy.
     
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  27. darkblue

    darkblue Semi-Pro

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    why this will never happen ;)
    1. it will lower USTA participation. after all, USTA markets tennis as a
    "social" sport... many players wouldn't play if they can't play with
    their friends.
    2. if #1 happens, then USTA management will go under heavy criticisms
    from the board and other stake holders. they can't possibly let THAT
    happen :grin:

    as long as they have a system that they can defend (but the "computer said so" excuse is a cliche' now... we are not in the 80's anymore), they will sit on it.
     
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  28. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    And you are basing your entire theory on the amount of sandbaggers you perceive to be out there.

    So you have a whole system just designed to thwart sandbaggers without a lot of the positive benefits of the current system.
     
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  29. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Well said. Any system that has people zipping up and down levels as much as they would in ohplease's system is never going to happen.

    Look at how bizarre his system is. It's bad enough that people are harping about someone who wins most of their matches and how that's proof they should be rated up. Now he's talking about moving 50% (yes 25+25 = 50%!) of the particpants out of there own level every year! Regardless of their record!

    That's insane. And it is insane because as some other people (like Ace) have commented on, you cant have 25% of one level playing in another level. There is a diffrence in the levels and even more so there is a wide range of players within each level.

    And it's so crazy that it's never going to happen so not much point even talking about it.

    The current system is fine. If the USTA had some sort of human element to it and got rid of the appeal system it would be better. But they are never going to cater to all the people that worry about sandbagging (at least not at the local level).

    The only thing about your silly rule that might make sense is if they applyed it to players on teams that advanced to a certain level in the playoffs (kind of like the move up / split up rule in nationals) because that's the only normal justification for someone going as far as sandbagging usually. But if it's some guy on your 3rd or 4th place team who happens to win most of his matches, that's just silly to think about, espeically if it's playing doubles (which the far majority of us do).
     
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  30. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think once the regular end-of-year adjustments are made, if someone is rated in the top 10 (or maybe 5) percent of their level, they should move up.

    I can't think of a single player I know of who is undefeated who shouldn't move up.

    I can think of a woman who was really very good but who was a 3.0 for several years. She was the captain, and she always put herself in at No. 3 doubles. This ensured that the team would win that court, and it meant she didn't play very tough opponents. I think that's why she stayed at 3.0 so long.

    Now. Let's say the system moved up all undefeated players. Players who like to hide on Court 3 would feel some pressure to put themselves onto a higher court. That's not a bad thing.

    Me, I don't like the idea of adding a human element. I don't understand how a pro could make a very accurate assessment without watching a player play an entire match with someone of the same level. Pretty strokes do not necessarily equate with success on the court.
     
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  31. CrocodileRock

    CrocodileRock Rookie

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    This was always my problem with visual ratings Cindy. Ratings determined on form, rather than who can beat who, and by how much. But don't we need a human being or two overlooking the system to make sure the undefeateds have to move up, and the always-defeateds move down?
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, but how many matches must a player win to be moved up? If I play two matches and win both in 3rd set tie-breakers, do I move up?
     
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  33. Ace

    Ace Semi-Pro

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    Not to mention the "I won all my matches at 3.0, but 1/2 of them were 2.5's playing up" scenario. Can't just move that person up to 3.5.
     
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  34. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    If the current system's so fine, why has tennis participation been declining? Why are there so many complaints? Didn't someone in this very thread say there should be a dedicated subsection to this board talking just about USTA issues? Wasn't that someone you?

    You can't have it both ways. People can't squawk so much in even your estimation AND there be nothing wrong with the current system.

    1) As it is right now, there is almost zero overlap between the USTA's description of what each level should be, and what each level actually is. Either their descriptions are incorrect, or the level of play is incorrect. I say both, because countless people self-rate incorrectly, and because people who used to play USTA at a particular level 5 or 10 years ago regularly say they can't compete at that same level today.

    2) Consequently, why bother with the current levels at all? Force bell curves on the entire system. As I said before, the USTA can already rank, from top to bottom, every one of it's participants across all levels.

    Now throw those levels out, and re-normalize. The middle 50% is 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5. The tails are 2.5, 3.0, and 5.0, 5.5. Does this mean some supposed "4.5" players are now 5.5s? Absolutely. Ask anyone who's seen regional or national play at 4.5, and I'm not sure they'd have a problem describing those cats as 5.5, anyway. Most players will remain unchanged at 3.0/3.5, since the curve is currently left-shifted to a huge degree.

    End of season, cull the best and worst. Now, there's some fiddling that needs to be done between levels. For example, since 5.0 and even 4.5 would be smaller in total population size by design, 1/4 of 4.5 down wouldn't be the same size as 1/4 of 4.0 up, so maybe the 4.0 bump up is only as big as the 4.5 bump down. Which means it ultimately gets harder to get pushed out of your level outside of the heart of that bell curve (3.5-4.5).

    The end result? Most club players stay right where they are, likely at 4.0, with occasional visits to 3.5 or 4.5. Further, the level of play at each level is tightened up. No more club hacks at the bottom of 3.5 or 4.0, and club pros in hiding at the top.

    Want to argue that results don't matter as much as quality of play? Well here you go. Tennis is implicitly a social sport, which means everyone cares about where they are relative to everyone else. Install metrics that formalize that ranking (what? That's impossible? We do that already, the pro tour does it, etc. - how we do it doesn't really matter), then work the resulting bell curve.

    Professors in colleges (good ones at least), often put up the histograms of their students' performance. Then they draw lines. The A's are obvious, as are the D's. Line through the middle of the bell curve divides B's and C's. The average could be 20, could be 90. Doesn't matter - nor does it matter what the level of play is like at 4.0 - either now (where again, 4.0 represents the best 25% of tennis players who are rabid enough to play USTA), or in the system I'm proposing.

    Since this is all so crazy it's not worth talking about, I'm sure Javier will have nothing else to contribute on the matter. Should that not be the case, he must be wrong on that point, too.
     
    #84
  35. Ace

    Ace Semi-Pro

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    ohplease, here is a direct quote from you, in another thread
    (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1469000#post1469000):

    and a direct quote from you, in this thread:
    What made you change your mind?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2007
    #85
  36. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Professors in college? Where are you going with this? Come on this is tennis we are talking about....

    Also dont focus so much on what happens in the regionals and nationals, what is that like 5% or less of the whole tennis population? That's like something that occurs over a course of a few weekends a year versus the entire season (which is what most of us sign up for).

    I take it you are on one of the teams that have been to regionals or nationals?
     
    #86
  37. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Nice thread stalking. And there's not even a contradiction there.

    Taken by itself, the first quote is correct. An INDIVIDUAL match's score doesn't CLEARLY indicate better or worse unless you're winning by two service breaks each set. That quote is emphasizing to another brain dead poster that just because he doesn't think much of someone's style, that doesn't mean they themselves are "better" or "worse."

    But hey, way to take things out of context.

    Let's say that guy proceeds to beat the moonballer even as few as 3 times in a row. If there's truly a 50/50 chance he could lose to the moonballer, we're really talking .5^3. In other words, the odds that this guy ISN'T better than the moonballer after 3 straight wins is pretty small.

    Which just proves my point. It's unlikely that someone will face nothing but underrated players at their level, and that, combined with an unlikely winning percentage means they're likely to be competitive at the next level up or down. If someone goes 10-0 on a season, the likelyhood they played nothing but scrubs is roughly the same as them being at level - .5^10 - or 0.1%.

    Good try, though. I'm glad you've joined my fan club. I'd return the favor and thread stalk you in return, but I've got a feeling you're really not worth my time.
     
    #87
  38. Ace

    Ace Semi-Pro

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    Geez, dude, I'm not stalking you. Calm down.
    I wasn't asking for an insult, and I haven't insulted you. Don't get all worked up.

    My point really is...I have won almost all my matches, with quite a few tiebreakers at 3.5. I know I am not a 4.0, I don't deserve to be a 4.0. When I play 4.0's, I lose somewhat easily. I happen to agree with your first posting, but not your second.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2007
    #88
  39. duffman

    duffman Rookie

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    My hitting buddy and I were looking at the USTA ratings descriptions yesterday and we just started laughing. We play in Norcal and if you had a the descriptions without the numbers assigned to them you could easily fill in the ratings a level higher than they are in reality. For example, the 4.5 description could easily fit 4.0 now.

    I think a compromise could easily be reached in ohplease's win based ratings and the way they are now which is what Javier prefers. All the USTA would have to do is make the win/loss record a percentage of the mystery algorithm. This would prevent the sandbaggers from having their cake and eating it too. They wouldn't be able to keep the score close, still get their win and stay at that level. And for those that play honestly and compete to win every game they can the system would pretty much stay the same for them.

    Also, the way the system is now it has a hard time keeping up with players that improve rapidly. It seems that its always a ways behind. I've been hearing sandbagging comments about my game at every level besides 4.5 since I started playing in 2005 and I thought I played it all by the book. I self-rated as a 3.0 in 2005 having never played tennis before had an above-average first season (8-4 including districts) and got a computer rating of 3.0 at the YER. I started hitting with a 4.5 that taught me the fundamentals of the kick serve and worked with me on my strokes and this is when I started to rapidly improve and the computer has been a level behind ever since. Taking wins into consideration as part of the formula might help this as well.
     
    #89
  40. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Glad you're still with us. Must mean there's something here worth discussing, after all, hm?

    The latest iteration mentions regionals and nationals exactly once each. Whether we want to figure relative rankings on results or score differentials, it really doesn't matter. What does matter is where you are relative to other people at your level, and the total population as a whole, nationals, regionals, or not.

    I know, change is scary. It'll be ok.
     
    #90
  41. AP328

    AP328 Rookie

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    Cindy,

    You make some good points. Especially if you are not the captain, you may not have a lot of input as to which match you play. I had a good W/L record this season, but I played mostly #3 doubles with a couple #2 doubles and #2 singles thrown in. I would like to play more #1 and #2 doubles before I move up a level.

    (Yes, I realize not every team plays their matches with their best teams in order, but let's not start that discussion. :) )
     
    #91
  42. aidenous

    aidenous Semi-Pro

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    I also noticed that during my three years at this that the same teams are always at the top and are the one's going to districts. Also, they seem to find the players who have to self rate and rate too low. All the teams are doing it but they are the best at it. To me this is the same as cheating.

    When I started this thread I talked about a player on a mixed team. Well the men's team he was on is the type of team I'm talking about. The men from this team had two players we found out after playing them during the winter were on a division II college tennis team. We filed a greivance and was told there was not enough past history to change their rating. How on earth can a 20 year old playing college level tennis be a 3.0?
     
    #92
  43. duffman

    duffman Rookie

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    LOL, I've never played on a team that put their doubles or singles in any kind of order. If the other teams now where your best players are going to play it leaves you very vulnerable to stacking. I was actually blown away when I went to watch a local high school championship match and they actually played in order of strength all the way down. I remember thinking this would never happen in the USTA!
     
    #93
  44. AP328

    AP328 Rookie

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    Indoors or outdoors? I would say a moonballer is easier to beat indoors where there is less sun and wind. A player with a good offensive lob playing outdoors can be a little more challenging.
     
    #94
  45. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I think they should just apply some subset of ohplease's system to just those teams that move on to the playoffs and leave the rest of the league (the rest of the 95% or more of us) alone.

    Your only incentive for sandbagging usually in most cases is to win the division. So let them win the division once, but why should the same team get to do it over and over and over again.

    They have move up/split up rules in nationals, but why do they only apply there? In my opinion you should have them all the way down to at least the sectionals.

    But I gather ohplease probally is on one of those teams that happens to win their local division and he's only upset because he's seeing the even bigger sandbaggers in the playoffs stomp on him. So what?

    Most teams dont even ever make it that far so there is no reason to change things on a local level just to cater to what happens a few weekends a year. (it's bad enough the league does that now)
     
    #95
  46. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Your whole plan is based on your theory that there are sandbaggers so you want to thwart them. Since in a local league I dont know where it can be said that you are playing ALL sandbaggers, I have to assume you are really only basing all your information on what happens as you move on into the post season. (which you've quoted articles about)

    The truth is a lot of the teams that make it that far are sandbaggers themselves, and they only are upset because they ran into some bigger sandbaggers.

    The rest of the 95+% of the league could care less, and if they do care, it's only because they want a chance at winning. Which is reasonable but shouldnt be the only thing they care about.
     
    #96
  47. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    One of my problems for only moving up the players that win most of their at-level matches by blowouts is that any division as a whole will improve from one year to the next. Lets look at 3.0 as a simple example. Most USTA 3.0 players probably play year around at least once a week (sometimes up to 4 times a week). You would think most of these players would improve during that 9 months between seasons. Therefore the top N% of the 3.0 players probably will be good enough to play at 3.5 (even though they were not in the previous year). So in short, any player that is winning most of their matches (even if they are competitive), probably should be moved up or else the following year they will become blowouts.
     
    #97
  48. Ace

    Ace Semi-Pro

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    If they have worked hard and improved during that 9 months, then let them have their winning season for one year, if they can, they have deserved it. After that....once they've blown everyone out....they move up.

    However, if what you say is true, and most players improve...then they all improve together, so no one is blowing anyone out. Maybe the newbies get blown out?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2007
    #98
  49. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Im not sure where you are from, but not everywhere is it that "most 3.0 players" play year round.

    Actually in my experience the vast majority of players in these leagues DONT improve. They have some sort of attitude problem, or just a basic weakness that you can pretty much count on from year to year. Usually the most common cause is that they actually DONT enough time on their game and they are just playing for fun or recreation. (especially at 3.0 and about half of 3.5)

    They certainly dont improve to a point that they are going to go up a whole level. The whole premise that everyone likes to make is that these levels are really close together, when in reality it's possible to beat tons of 3.0 rated players but never win a match at 3.5. (Ive been there myself at times, I still played 3.0 and 3.5, but someone like Ace would probally complain about me playing 3.5)
     
    #99
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'd agree with this. Thinking through the 3.0 players on my team and other 3.0s I know, people really don't improve dramatically. Dramatic improvement takes instruction + practice + conditioning, and even then it sometimes doesn't happen.

    Regarding playing in order of strength . . . I don't want to open a can of worms, but some leagues still do this as a matter of custom rather than rule. My 3.0 team played 10 matches. In only one match did the opposing captain "stack." But we stacked too, so it worked out!! Where I play, being on Court 1 versus Court 3 really means something.

    YMMV, of course.
     

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